Conference paper

Boosted MMI for model and feature-space discriminative training

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We present a modified form of the Maximum Mutual Information (MMI) objective function which gives improved results for discriminative training. The modification consists of boosting the likelihoods of paths in the denominator lattice that have a higher phone error relative to the correct transcript, by using the same phone accuracy function that is used in Minimum Phone Error (MPE) training. We combine this with another improvement to our implementation of the Extended Baum-Welch update equations for MMI, namely the canceling of any shared part of the numerator and denominator statistics on each frame (a procedure that is already done in MPE). This change affects the Gaussian-specific learning rate. We also investigate another modification whereby we replace I-smoothing to the ML estimate with I-smoothing to the previous iteration's value. Boosted MMI gives better results than MPE in both model and feature-space discriminative training, although not consistently. ©2008 IEEE.